No, the 49ers defensive linemen didn’t bankrupt their rookies.
In a video posted to Kemoko Turay’s Instagram story, the annual “rookie dinner” tradition continued for the 49ers defensive linemen. Rookies always have some sort of duties they have to carry out over the course of the season, and paying for a team dinner towards the end is usually the culmination of them.
But the 49ers vets threw an extra wrinkle in for them, with a check that came out to… $322,391.05.
Is it really a prank if no one believes it?
It quickly became obvious that figure was impossibly high, with a $122,500 deposit charge and a $200,000 gratuity for a $7,691 dinner.
Arik Armstead quickly cleared things up on Twitter, saying the rookies covered $4,500, while he and two other veterans added $1,000 each.
Rookie defensive tackle Kalia Davis, the one holding the check in the video above — and who had his first NFL practice on Tuesday after the 49ers opened his non-football injury return window — said he wasn’t fooled.
He told KNBR in locker room availability Tuesday that there was no way the veterans would leave their rookie’s paying that much for the dinner (which was at Mastro’s Steakhouse in Santa Clara).
“I knew it wasn’t real, man,” Davis said. “We got some good vets, so I knew they would never do it like that. I was really expecting like $7k which is what it was.”
Kyle Shanahan was unaware of the prank until he was briefed just before his availability on Tuesday, saying he was relieved that the veterans didn’t overdo it.
“Thank God,” Shanahan said. “That’s ridiculous. That’s good of Arik. A lot of guys can be not cool about it and Arik is a little more mature than that and thank goodness, because guys can get ridiculous with that… That was like French Laundry level.”
It didn’t fool many people, except some far-too-online, extremely gullible folks. But it does offer an interesting, if not harrowing, thought of how much food and drinks you’d have to order to spend $300,000-plus at one dinner, regardless of how high-brow the restaurant is.